Development of SCI-compatible financing methods – Milestones of Work Package 4

The current status of preventive public health and wellbeing interventions in Europe involves a combination of funding from public and private sources. On average, public spending on preventive care accounts for 2.8% of total health expenditure across EU countries, ranging from 0.8% to 4.4%. While there is significant variation between countries, preventive interventions are typically funded by public resources categorized under public health expenditure.

The common perception is that preventive and other health interventions are costs within the public budget. In Invest4Health, we would like to introduce the concept of smart capacitating investment (SCI) to elevate these complex preventive service concepts from mere cost items to the level of investment. This will be achieved by integrating fundamental elements of SCI, including measurable impact and external investor engagement.

In Work Package 4 (WP4), our specific task is to develop and test new financing and funding methods that are compatible with the concept of Smart Capacitating Investment (SCI) as defined by other WPs, based on the consensus of the consortium and support the preventive health ecosystem within the project’s test environments known as test beds. SCI goes beyond a purely financial approach to investment, looking at it more holistically, including nonfinancial contributions (e.g., intellectual capital, technological innovation, and community engagement). However, the task of our Work Package is to integrate financial mechanisms, which are at the heart of our work.

Many factors influence health and wellbeing, some outside the scope of traditional health care. Given the wide range of factors (social, environmental, etc.) that determine health, initiatives focusing on health promotion or preventive care almost always require cross-sectoral, multi-stakeholder collaboration in their design, management, and implementation.

Criteria for effective SCI-compatible financing methods

For effective SCI-compatible financing methods, financial mechanisms should:

  • Support long-term financial and budgetary sustainability;
  • Support generating value (financial or nonfinancial ROI) through long-term contracts, transparency, measurement, well-defined obligations (transparent allocation of risks and responsibilities), fair and transparent payment methods, and remuneration techniques (encouraging external social investors and all stakeholders).

The Work Package task involves exploring and evaluating SCI-compatible financing approaches that align with the SCI evaluation framework, international financing and investment practices, relevant business models within the test beds, and the testbeds’ acceptance and readiness for implementing such financing methods.

Leveraging outputs from other work packages

To design SCI-supporting funding schemes, we leveraged outputs from Work Package 2 (WP2), which provided the project with the frame concept of SCI, including structural elements and key stakeholders. Given the interconnected nature of tasks across different work packages, teams of varying Work Packages worked closely during the exploratory research phase and conducted a joint scoping review. The protocol (see here), and the results of this review are presented by WP2.

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